Burger Bash 2018 Winners: Clinton Hall and Citi Field
The meat sweats were in full force last night as Burger Bash kicked off during the New York City Wine & Food Festival.
As you've probably noticed from our coverage on Food Network's Instagram page, the 11th-annual New York City Wine & Food Festival is in full force this weekend. Your favorite chefs like Alex Guarnaschelli, Giada De Laurentiis, Rachael Ray and others are in town, and they're serving up epic feasts and top drinks at events all weekend long. This fan-favorite weekend draws hungry crowds to dozens of events every year, but perhaps no Festival event is more beloved than Burger Bash.
Picture this: A party on a rooftop overlooking New York City, Rachael Ray as the host, cold beer and a live band. Oh. And more than 30 cooked-on-the-spot burgers by chefs from around the country. THIS is the scene at Burger Bash, and there's nothing else quite like it.
With all the tasting and dancing going on, it can be easy to forget that this is a competition. Each burger is passed to an esteemed panel of judges — this year's included Neil Patrick Harris, Geoffrey Zakarian and Andrew Zimmern — who will ultimately decide their pick of between-the-bun creations. But there's also a people's choice element, and that puts the power in the hands of the guests.
This year, for the first time ever, according to host Rachael Ray, the judges were unanimous in their decision. Chef Patrick Schaeffer of Citi Field earned the Judges' Choice Award. He and his team dished out slider-style burgers served with their signature glaze and thick-cut chewy-crispy bacon that seriously impressed the panel. The crowd, however, went with a more old-school pick. Meet the Double Shashed Burger from Clinton Hall. This two-patty burger with gooey cheese, pickles and crispy onions scored the People's Choice Award. And we can see why. We ate it — and loved it.
Last year's top honoree, Le Rivage restaurant, was on the scene again this year, and the chef there hoped to hold onto his title. Though he didn't take home a prize this year, he once again served up his craveworthy French Onion Soup Burger. Another cult favorite, Shake Shack, was on hand as well, but their offering was anything but traditional. In place of their classic Shack Burger, they introduced the Jump Jack Shack with Jack cheese and caramelized onions.
Alex Guarnaschelli's team from Butter was representing the Midtown New York City restaurant with a next-level take on a favorite. This beauty of a burger was stacked between buns with American cheese and a bacon-onion jam ... and then griddled for a subtle crunch on the outside.
No stranger to Burger Bash, multi-time winner Josh Capon was on hand this year, and of course he was passing out his now-signature Bash Burger. Two super-juicy patties, drippy American cheese, a sweet-savory onion-bacon jam and tart pickles — it was all happening in the Bash Burger, and it was all downright delicious.
Pizza Loves Emily is surely no stranger to the pizza game, but if you've never been to one of the restaurants in New York City, know this. The Emmy Burger is a must-order. This two-patty burger was on display last night too. Honestly, it's all about the Emmy sauce, a tangy, bright-orange topping that will run down your hands and make you so, so happy. Plus, they served potato tots on the side. Those made us pretty happy too.
Stay tuned to Food Network's Instagram page all weekened long for more insider coverage from the 2018 New York City Wine & Food Festival.